CUENCA DIGEST: Things you should know if you live in Cuenca

08/Agosto/2012 | 16:39


TodayInEcuador@hoy.com.ec




THE BAD NEWS – SPEEDERS GO TO JAIL


Most people have probably heard it by now, but if not, drivers should know that violating the speed limit could put you in jail.


Since July 25, anyone breaking the speed limit by just a slim margin will be subject to a fine of $292 plus three days in jail.  The speed limit, which is often not posted in Ecuador, is 50 km/h in the city and 90 km/h along peripheral roads and highways.  


The law, which is enforced with radar and computerized photographic equipment, penalizes all speeders with fines and a deduction of license points, but it imposes a three-day jail sentence on those exceeding speed limits by what police determine are "extraordinary velocities."


What is extraordinary? Driving in town it would be more than 10km over the limit. If you are caught speeding, but it is less than 10km over the limit, you will be fined only $82 and have points deducted from your license.


As of the end of the July the new speeding law had resulted in 139 arrests in Cuenca and has landed 18 drivers in jail.


The traffic police do not announce the location of radar detectors and cameras but say most arrests so far have occurred on the Autopista Sur, Av. España and Av. Gonzalez Suarez.

Many of those who have been jailed have complained that the new rules are too extreme. “We are not common criminals like the rest of the people in jail,” said one man who was released from jail on Sunday. “This is entirely unfair.”


A police spokeman begged to differ. “Speeding is one of the biggest killers in Cuenca. If we put these offenders in jail maybe they will be more careful the next time they are behind the wheel. It’s too bad that they don’t like it.”


Last week, national police issued a statement reminding drivers that radar detection devices are prohibited by the new traffic control law and those caught using them will be subject to fines. Police also said they would seek to penalize owners of social media sites that report locations of speed traps. One such service in Cuenca, by the way, is Twitter @radaresCUE.




THE GOOD NEWS - CELL PHONE CHARGES TO BE EQUALIZED BETWEEN SERVICE PROVIDERS


Ecuador’s Superintendent of Telecommunications says it plans to equalize the cost of all cell phone calls within the country, even those made between the accounts of different cell service providers, by the end of the year.


According to Superintendent Fabian Jaramillo, one of the reasons that Ecuador has the most cell phone numbers per capita in Latin America, is because many cell users have accounts with more than one service provider. “This is because the providers charge a higher per-minute rate for calling a number that is serviced by another company,” Jaramillo says. “If charges were the same, no matter what cell phone you called, people would only need one number.”


As part of the new plan, Jaramillo said, an extra digit will be added to all cell phone numbers in the country at the end of September.




OTHER NEWS - TAME OPERATES LOJA TO CUENCA BUS DURING LOJA AIRPORT CLOSURE


Tame Airline is offering its Loja passengers bus service to and from Cuenca during the year-long closure of the Camilo Ponce Enriquez Airport in Catamayo, which serves Loja. There is no charge for Tame customers in Loja who are flying out of Cuenca due to the airport work.


In Loja, buses leave and return to the Terminal Terrestre while they arrive and depart from Mariscal La Mar Airport in Cuenca. The trip takes three to three-and-a-half hours each way. Buses leave Loja and Cuenca twice a day on the following schedule: Loja to Cuenca, 4:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and Cuenca to Loja at 8:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., the times corresponding to flight arrivals and departures in Cuenca.




These stories first appeared at www.CuencaHighLife.com, one of the city’s foremost sources for local news and stories.

 


Ciudad Cuenca

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